Long Beach Opera 2021

2021 Season

Artists must continue to create, plan, dream and imagine all the creative scenarios that will once again allow audiences and artists to come together. Our productions have already reframed opera into parking lots, train stations, swimming pools, automobiles, and city streets during the past four decades in Los Angeles County. Together, we plan to continue to find creative ways to bring the incredible collaborative art form of opera to audiences once again." Jennifer Rivera, Executive Director
Although I was already planning a season of collaborations for LBO, the new world we find ourselves in has given that emphasis on collaboration a new significance. I am energized and humbled that so many artists and arts organizations, both local and national are so eager to join me and LBO in re-claiming our essential place in the life of this community Yuval Sharon, Interim Artistic Advisor



Long Beach Opera continues its commitment to the operas of Philip Glass with Les Enfants Terribles (1996), the final piece of his trilogy based on the works of Jean Cocteau.James Darrah’s powerful and physically demanding production, originally seen at The One Festival at Opera Omaha, sheds new light on the piece’s conception as a dance opera.

Glass himself adapted Cocteau’s novel into a libretto, which tells the story of two orphaned children who live in dangerous isolation from the outside world. Glass’s kinetic score, set for three overlapping pianos, transforms the original story into a hypnotic meditation on youth’s transience and its tragic illusion of eternity. LBO’s production will be conducted by Los Angeles favorite Christopher Rountree.

Darrah achieved an optimal blend of dance and theater that elevated Glass’s opera to a level of clarity and meaning that will undoubtedly enkindle a passion for opera in those in the audience who were new to genre and renew the excitement of those already enthralled. Opera News

Les Enfants Terribles is presented in collaboration with the One Festival at Opera Omaha.

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Lost souls are found, love is rekindled, and secrets are exposed at a mysterious motor lodge in the American West. Created by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid, playwright christopher oscar peña, and director James Darrah, 'desert in' is a groundbreaking new eight-part miniseries that reveals a supernatural story of love, loss, and the price of memories.

Featuring the talents of eight extraordinary, award-winning composers and interlocking stories from rising and veteran screenwriters, 'desert in' is helmed by a team of directors led by LBO Artistic Director James Darrah.

Part supernatural love story, part dazzling long-form music video, 'desert in' is driven by a blend of striking new music that ranges from lush classical to jazz, from electronic soundscape to cinematic sweep, and more. Principal filming took place in Palm Springs, CA. With a diverse cast of actors, singers and creators, 'desert in' creates a wholly new storytelling experience. On-screen actors are complemented by performers who are not seen, but whose voices are heard on the soundtrack. Some of the on-screen actors are seen singing; others create and embody characters guided by off-screen voices. The effect places the story in a dreamlike universe that’s not quite earthbound, not quite celestial.

'desert in' is commissioned and produced by Boston Lyric Opera in association with Long Beach Opera.

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Why are women in opera so often depicted as prostitutes, sacrificial victims, or both? Women reframe their own operatic portrayal in this double bill that pairs the most radical monodrama of the last century with one by this century’s most exciting new voices.

Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire (1912) changed music forever when he created 21 surreal dreamscapes for a solitary, enigmatic female to traverse. Exploring a threshold space between singing and speaking, Schoenberg created a vocal character somewhere between cabaret and expressionism, demanding each performer to make the role uniquely her own.

Just over 100 years later, Kate Soper’s Voices from the Killing Jar (2014) takes an intrepid soloist through a constantly shifting sonic environment and a kaleidoscopic vocal journey. Soper’s protagonist brings to life 8 famous women in world literature -- from Don Giovanni to Great Gatsby, from Shakespeare to Haruki Murakami -- to unravel men’s depictions of women through the centuries.

Pierrot / Voices is a collaboration between the Los Angeles Philarmonic, The Ford and Long Beach Opera.

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National Endowement for the Arts    California Arts Council Arts Council for Long Beach City of Long Beach Art Works Opera America KUSC

This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at cac.ca.gov
Supported in part by a grant from the Arts Council for Long Beach and the City of Long Beach.
Long Beach Opera events are supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission